Braving the midday heat and the crowds packed along the central quad, Cal State Long Beach students navigated a maze of booths, bodies and fliers on Wednesday at the biannual Week of Welcome.
Held during the second week of the fall and spring semesters, Week of Welcome helps link students with over 300 campus clubs and community organizations, giving students the opportunities to network with other student professionals, find a place for themselves on a commuter campus or engage in their hobbies with other students.
Groups and organizations such as Delta Delta Delta, Black Student Union, Muslim Student Association and the CSULB Salsa club handed out information for potential new recruits interested in participating in their organizations.
Many booths had candy, snacks and gifts such as stress balls to give to interested students. The even hungrier students made their way to Ragin Cajun, one of two food trucks set up near the quad.
Chicano and Latino Studies major Maria Lopez used Week of Welcome to get the word out about the organization Housing Long Beach. The group’s mission is to improve, preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing in the city of Long Beach through policy work and community organizing.
The senior, who works as a community organizer for the organization, said she hopes to get more CSULB students involved in issues that affect them.
“It’s not any news that students are hungry and students are becoming homeless,” Lopez said. “We’re here to stand together for students, to fight for their rights and to fight for housing, which is a human right.”
Lopez said that this is the first time that Housing Long Beach has participated in Week of Welcome, but has worked with CSULB students in the past.
“Over the summer we had 10 service learners and they’ve referred friends to our organization,” she said. “We’re equipping them with organizing skills and leadership skills to take into their careers and even on campus.”
Senior film major Alex Perez found herself walking through the crowd on the way to the American Marketing Association booth. Perez is currently a member of Hermanas Unidas de Long Beach, but she plans on joining another organization.
“I’m trying to see if I can fit them into my schedule,” Perez said. “I’ve been looking around to see what might work for me.”
Junior Chemistry Danielle Pulido and other members of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society handed out fliers and shared information about their club, which helps undergraduates in the fields of chemistry and biochemistry reach their educational and career goals.
While Week of Welcome often sees a spike in numbers of students signing up for the SAACS mailing list, Pulido said that it often does not translate into an increase in membership.
“Most of the people who sign up here never show up for the meetings,” Pulido said. “We do get a few people who sign up and attend a few meetings that eventually become members.”
Week of Welcome continues in the Central Quad on Thursday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and culminates with Smorgasport on Friday from 7-11 p.m.